Light Pollution: A barrier between humans and the beauty of the night sky written by Meet Panchal
We are aware of the pollution like air, water, noise, soil, and plastic. But many other pollutions are unnoticed and equally harming not only the environment but also the biodiversity present on the earth. One such pollution is Light pollution, which can sometimes be referred to as Artificial light at night. We will see more about this pollution and its effects in the following blog. Light pollution is defined as pollution caused by the inappropriate or excessive use of outdoor light. It not only affects the visibility of celestial bodies from the earth but also the ecosystem, wildlife, and human health.
There was a well-known and unanswered question; how many stars are there in the night sky? It was unanswered because a few centuries ago, people were able to see thousands of stars through their naked eyes from any part of the earth. And now, these parts are divided into Urban, Suburban, and Rural areas. Do you think that people living in the urban area can still see thousands of stars in the night sky? The answer is NO because of the increasing light pollution, which decreases the visibility of stars and planets from earth.
Light pollution has also impacted the ecosystem and wildlife. For example, there was a time when birds used to sing in the early morning. But now you can hear their singing even in the middle of the night. The bright white light that we use leads to confusion in both nocturnal and diurnal animal behaviors. This adversely affects the ecosystem as well as human health by disturbing sleep patterns.
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Nowadays, the human society is looking forward to expanding their knowledge of their origin. For that purpose, earth-based observatories of the night sky have been established. In addition, people are also stargazing as a hobby or curiosity. In stargazing amateur astronomers collectively observe a variety of celestial bodies such as the Sun, the moon, stars, planets, comets, and meteor showers. Their observations also include deep-sky objects such as star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae. Light pollution also impacts stargazing, once visible objects are now no longer visible from well-developed cities. This leaves only a few dark sites for stargazing.
So, how to reduce light pollution? The answers to such questions are simple to understand but difficult to implement. One can reduce light pollution with proper and limited use of lights. By “limited use” what we mean is only using light in an amount that is required. And by “proper use” what we mean is to follow some tips. Like, you can light just the required area. One can shield and point the light source downwards. Preferring light bulbs with less brightness is crucial. Automation of street lights by using timers and sensors is also a good way to reduce light pollution.
The universe is a milestone in creativity. It has all the answers to questions raised by humans. We just need to explore it. For such explorations, we need our future generations to incline themselves toward the beauty of the night sky. The only barrier in the path is light pollution; if we want, we can reduce it.